Wild Atlantic Way picture
Wild Atlantic Way
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Christian McLeod/Failte Ireland

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Tours, Free Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
5.0scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

This western coastal route, which begins in the north of Donegal and runs 1,500 miles through nine counties ending in the south of Cork, is a breathtakingly scenic experience. No matter how much of the route you choose to experience, you'll find a wealth of attractions along the way, including the famous Cliffs of Moher, castles, golf courses and the largest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere at Doolin Cave, among many, many others. For an on-the-go guide to the route's highlights, consider downloading the free Wild Atlantic Way App (available for Apple and Android), which also works offline.

Recent visitors who drove along the route called it "wild and wonderful," with "spectacular scenery." Reviewers also noted that the route is well-marked.

Access to the Wild Atlantic Way is free, though certain attractions along the way do charge entrance fees. The easiest way to enjoy the route on your own time is by car, but you can access it via public transportation. Bus Éireann offers a hop-on, hop-off pass that allows travelers to explore the drive via a series of routes. Irish Rail also offers tours that include passage along the Wild Atlantic Way. Visit the official website to learn more about suggested itineraries and attractions. 

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Aran Islands
Cliffs of Moher
Type
Time to Spend
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#2 Aran Islands

The beautiful and romantic Aran Islands, composed of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, sit off the coast of Galway County and are an immensely popular daytrip for visitors. Along with their medieval forts, Celtic churches and dramatic cliffs, the islands offer a glimpse into Ireland's history and culture, as this is a place where locals still speak Irish (and English). There are a variety of activities on the islands, from hiking to cycling to swimming. Probably one of the most famous attractions is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dún Aonghasa, set on a dramatic cliff edge on Inishmore. It is the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. Originally constructed around 1100 B.C., it was re-fortified around A.D. 700 to 800. Admission is 2 euros (about $2.50) for adults and 5.50 euros ($6.50) for a family.

Visitors call Dún Aonghasa "stunning" and "spectacular," but warn that the rocks are slippery and there's no fence, so it is good idea to wear proper footwear.

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